If you are still on the fence over buying an interactive whiteboard, here are some compelling benefits that will help you make up your mind.
The last thing an interactive whiteboard provider wants to do is to alienate its core market. So they have made their systems remarkably easy to use. In essence, they are an extension of the mouse and window operating environment we are all familiar with.
There are thousands of online resources to help you with the nuances if you get stuck.
2. They Support Multimedia
Since the 1980s, educators have been calling out for more multimedia resources to support their lessons. The early laserdisc systems fell short of the mark.
The technology was lacking, but the promise was there from the beginning. To fill the gap, teachers used an array of props – CD players, boards, TVs and DVD players, overhead projectors and video projectors.
An interactive whiteboard replaces all this clutter, and allow you to realize the full potential of multimedia. Lessons can become rich experiences, combining videos, music, audio and text. And all of these resources are fully under the teacher’s control using a simple interface.
3. They Help Students Collaborate
A lot of the discussion around interactive whiteboards focuses on the impact the technology has during the lesson. But there are extra benefits from using this technology. By focusing on interactive materials from the beginning, teachers build up an array of digital resources to complement the curriculum. These media files and documents are useful resources for students who need to revise, and for teams of students collaborating on projects. They can be shared with the students online.
Universities are using educational software to create individual websites for each course. These websites provide an array of class materials (often including recorded lectures). Amongst the materials are interactive whiteboard assets, often including the annotations which were made in class. In addition to exposing these files, the courseware includes forum features, which allow students to discuss the materials and ask each other questions. Teachers can supervise the forums, providing assistance when needed and deleting objectionable material.
4. They Familiarize Students With Useful Technology
We live in a digital age, and students will eventually graduate and enter a high-tech workplace. They will be expected to use presentation in the office. Using interactive technology in the classroom helps students to familiarize themselves with the same tools they will use in later life.
5. Interactive Whiteboards are a Step Toward Paperless Schools
Teachers are famous hoarders, and over time they accumulate a lot of lesson materials. While these collections are often a gold mine of useful materials, it’s often the case that only the creator knows how to find the true gems. To the rest of the faculty, these materials are a huge pile of mysterious clutter. And they take up a lot of expensive space.
In our modern age, real space is expensive, and disk space is cheap. Digital assets can be stored indefinitely in the school’s network, or even in the cloud. These assets can be tagged and are easy for other teachers to search through. And this encourages reuse.
While it’s unlikely that we’ll ever see a truly paperless school, this is a productive step in the right direction.